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Whitbread Log: Leg 5, Auckland to São Sebastião----------------------------- red rule ------------------------------
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  We are starting to get a little payoff from our southwesterly position. On the last sked, we gained on everyone but Merit.
Day 4 - Feb. 4, 1998

0421 GMT
45° 30'S, 177° 36'W

Miles to São Sebastião: 5,995

Place: 6th; distance behind 1st-place boat: 8.8 miles

From: Paul Cayard, skipper EF Language

We passed the International Date line last night, so I guess we are doing Tuesday again. Kind of a neat milestone . . . I guess Greenwich, England, is pretty much straight down under our hull about 10,000 miles from here.

We are starting to get a little payoff from our southwesterly position. On the last sked, we gained on everyone but Merit. Unfortunately, I don't think our payoff will be as big as we thought it would have been. Still, we have to stay in contact with the leaders and hang in there for the long term.

There is a large high-pressure sitting east of the fleet. The fleet has to sail around the high as there are very light winds in the center of it. The wind shifts from east to north to west as you go down the western side of the high. There is usually incrementally stronger wind as you go away from the center, but the wind shift favors being closer to the center. This is a tricky trade-off to judge.

We have placed ourselves to the west, counting on the wind being lighter to the east, and obviously for Kvaerner, EF Education and Brunel, it has been. They have all had to gybe on an unfavorable heading to get south, therefore losing some miles. Chessie is sailing very smartly by placing themselves with all the changing weather and the scatter of the fleet.

I just remembered that these messages are getting circulated to our competitors now, so I will have to watch what I say on some issues.

We are currently about 60 miles from the Chatham Islands, some 500 miles southeast of Auckland. That is not very far considering we started 72 hours ago. We will all gybe onto starboard in about 24 hours with the northwesterly shift and the wind should build up to 25 knots over the following 24 hours. That will be a nice change, as we would all like to be making more progress toward the finish than our current rate.

Life on board is still easy in this smooth-water running condition. Temperatures are moderate and comfortable. So, [it's] not hard at all to get dressed, not very many clothes to get on, easy to eat and cook, nice and smooth for sleeping, etc. That will all change soon enough with the fire hose starting up on deck and some nice slamming and belly flopping down the waves. That should be on our menu by the weekend.

Paul Cayard
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Leg 5 positions at 0600 GMT today:
      BoatPoints*Position
Overall
  1. Toshiba
  2. Chessie Racing
  3. Merit Cup
  4. Swedish Match
  5. Silk Cut
  6. EF Language (P. Cayard, skipper)
  7. Innovation Kvaerner
  8. EF Education
  9. BrunelSunergy
434
413
438
404
336
437
359
139
122
3
4
1
5
7
2
6
8
9
* Aggregate points total, including points scored for the first, second, third and fourth legs and points for the fifth leg according to current positions.


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